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CBL & Associates Properties CEO Discusses Q2 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

We had nearly a dozen new companies represented, including Francesca's, Firebirds Restaurants, Pandora and Godiva to name just a few. Connection is a great opportunity for us to make deals and also to strengthen our retailer relationships with key deal makers that visit us over the three days of the event.

Recently, we welcomed several new stores to the CBL portfolio, opening our first Lego and Microsoft, at Oak Park mall in Kansas City, Kansas, as well as Armani Exchange at Mall del Norte Laredo, Texas. The store has experienced strong openings and we are pursuing discussions for additional locations in CBL Malls. We also celebrated the grand opening of our fifth Apple Store at CoolSprings Galleria in Nashville.

Stabilized mall occupancy improved during the quarter by 180 basis points, increasing to 92.3%. Total portfolio occupancy experienced a similar improvement increasing a 170 basis points to 92.3%. We only have one property The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City in the new mall category at this time and that property is 100% leased.

We are very pleased with the progress in leasing spreads this quarter. We showed strength across both, new and renewal leasing. Overall leases for stabilized malls during the quarter were signed at 10.2% increase over the prior year gross rent per square foot.

Renewal leasing spreads increased 9.5% over the prior gross rents and new leases were signed at a 13.2% increase over prior gross rents. The improvement in renewal spreads is encouraging, and coupled with our occupancy increases demonstrates the strengthening of our properties as demand improves and new supply remains constricted.

During the quarter, we commenced construction on the Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta. With just over a year until the grand opening, the 370,000-square foot project is approximately 72% leased or committed with the first-class line up of retailers, including Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Nike, Levi's, Brooks Brothers, Converse, and Cole Haan. Similar to The Outlet Shoppes at Oklahoma City, this project is being developed in 75:25 joint-venture with the Horizon Group.

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